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What Is Needed To File A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Posted on January 18th, 2020 by Oddo & Babat, P.C.

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If your doctor recently made a mistake when treating you, it can be a very confusing and difficult time. You may be wondering if you can file a lawsuit against your doctor or the hospital to be compensated for any harm you suffered. This is a very common question, with a relatively complicated answer. It is a good idea to speak with an attorney to learn how strong your case is, although this guide will go over the basics you should know.

Medical Malpractice

If you were to file a lawsuit against your doctor in this situation, your lawsuit would be a medical malpractice case. So what is needed to file a medical malpractice lawsuit? There are two general requirements:

  • The doctor failed to provide care that met the standard of care
  • The failure to meet the standard of care caused you harm

These two requirements are essentially the requirements for an action to be considered negligent. It may be beneficial to research what legal negligence is to learn more. Every physician is required to meet a certain level of care that is socially expected. If your doctor made a mistake when treating you, chances are good that this failure has already happened. It is possible, however, that your situation was complicated enough that nearly every doctor would have made the same mistake. If it is determined that it was a very reasonable mistake to make, you may not win your case.

Secondly, the mistake the doctor made must have caused you harm. Simply making a mistake, but then fixing it quickly before any damage can be done invalidates the potential for a lawsuit. Likewise, if the mistake is never fixed, but does not cause any damage either, you probably cannot sue. Finally, it is possible that you suffered some harm, but the mistake was not the cause. The doctor’s failure needs to be the direct cause of the harm you suffered. If both of these two requirements are fulfilled in your case, you should consider filing a lawsuit.

Who To Sue

Generally, it is a good idea to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the individual physician who caused you harm. In certain rare cases, it is a better idea to sue the hospital itself or the organization that operates the hospital. This is usually only the case if you were injured by an unsafe hospital environment or administrative error. It is more difficult to successfully sue a hospital than an individual physician. You can learn more by speaking with a medical malpractice attorney.


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